COCOBOD trial: Lithovit fertilizer increased my yields – National Best Farmer tells court

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The man who was adjudged the overall National Best Farmer in 2017, Mr. Baffour Kweku Agyamang, has been singing the praise of Lithovit Liquid Fertiliser in court, recounting its effectiveness.

According to the one-time national best farmer, he recorded bumper harvest when he applied the lithovit fertilizer on his farms.

Mr. Kweku Agyemang has 22 cocoa farms totaling 147 acres in the Bono Region as well as several acres of cash crops including palm tree, coconut, maize, cashew, oranges, plantain. He also has several herds of cattle, fishponds and also rear goats, sheep, and poultry.

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The chief farmer who is also the 2011 2nd runner up in the National Best Farmer Awards has been testifying as a subpoenaed witness in the trial of former COCOBOD Chief Executive, Dr. Stephen Opuni, and businessman Seidu Agongo in the purchase of Lithovit Liquid Fertiliser between 2014 and 2016.

Giving his evidence in chief on Thursday, July 14 led by Samuel Codjoe, lead counsel for Dr. Opuni, Mr. Agyemang said he first used lithovit in 2014, but noting that the quantity he got could only cover three of his farms.

“So what was the result of the use of the lithovit liquid fertiliser on these three farms?” counsel asked the witness.

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His response was, “my Lord, the result was that, I had a lot of yield on all 3 farms that I applied the lithovit liquid fertiliser than all the other farms that year, even though, I did the same work on all the other farms.”

Asked why he is attributing the increased in yield to lithovit liquid fertilizer, the witness told the court:

“When you look at the cocoa on the 3 farms that I applied the lithovit liquid fertiliser on, the Cocoa trees had more yield. Also, I used to pass through other farms and the farmers told me they also have lots of yield from their cocoa trees and when I enquired, though he could not tell the exact fertilizer, he mentioned the company producing the lithovit liquid fertiliser as Agricult.”

Lawyer Codjoe asked the witness to compare yields from farms he applied lithovit and that of those he applied other fertilisers.

Baffour Kweku Agyemang said, “My lord like I earlier stated I cultivate my farms in the same manner. The other farms that I used different fertilizers also increased my yield but not as much as the other three farms that I used Lithovit liquid fertilizer. The labourers who worked on my farms were surprised why the three farms have more yield than the others. They asked me why it was so and I made them know that it is because we applied lithovit fertiliser on the three farms and not on the rest.

“Some time after, the CHED officer who gave me the Lithovit liquid fertilizer came to see the yield of my 3 farms and also asked how I had that much and I explained to him it was as a result of the Lithovit liquid fertilizer he gave me and its application which I followed.”

One of the three farms Mr. Agyemang applied Lithovit liquid fertilizer on is located at Nkrankwanta, the second farm is also located at Nkrankwanta behind his poultry farm and the third one is located at Ahenfiekrom all in the Dormaa West District in the Bono Region.

The National Best Farmer is the third farmer to testify to confirm the efficacy of lithovit liquid fertilizer.

Prosecution closed its case last year calling seven witnesses but was short of calling a single farmer, as an end user of the fertiliser that it claimed was worthless, to testify on behalf of the state.

It is the case of the prosecution that the Lithovit liquid fertiliser bought by COCOBOD between 2014 and 2016 did not give value for money. The accused persons were therefore charged with causing financial loss to the state among other charges.

Meanwhile, the accounts of two farmers who appeared before the court, before the National Best Farmer, testified that Lithovit liquid fertilizer is effective and gave them bumper harvest, calling the product “messiah” and “saviour”.

Their narrative was confirmed in court by a former District Cocoa Officer and former Board Chairman of COCOBOD.

“Again, there are a lot of farmers who testified that by using Lithovit fertiliser, it increased their yields, out of which some of them said they put up their buildings and bought their personal vehicles,” Mr. Samuel Tsatsu Adigler who worked as a District Cocoa Officer at Adabokrom as well as Assin Fosu earlier told the court.

The 2017 National Best Farmer has so far tendered several evidence in court to prove that he is a farmer and also used lithovit liquid fertiliser. These include his cocoa passbook; a receipt issued to him by COCOBOD certifying him as a cocoa farmer; certificates when he was adjudged 2011 National Best Farmer Runner-up and 2017 Overall National Best Farmer; copy of his passport with a visa showing evidence of a COCOBOD-sponsored trip to Switzerland for a programme in 2018; as well as certificate issued by COCOBOD confirming that he participated in its Farmers Business School.

The trial presided over by Justice Clemence Jackson Honyenuga, a justice of the Supreme Court sitting with additional responsibility as a High Court judge was adjourned to Monday, July 18 for Mr. Agyemang to continue his evidence in chief.

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